After a thorough review, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has announced that it will allow the Parler App to relaunch on the app store after it was removed following the Capitol Riots on Jan. 6th. Parler launched its social media platform back in 2018 and branded itself as a free-speech alternative to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In the days leading up to the 2020 Election, many on the political right felt silenced as they claimed there was a left-leaning bias on social media, so conservatives began flocking to Parler’s app in droves. Unfortunately, Parler also became a space for neo-nazis and white supremacists to spread extreme ideas and allowed far-right agitators to plan and organize events. The Company decided to uphold its commitment to free speech and pledged to only remove content that made direct calls to violent and dangerous activities.
Following the events of Jan. 6th and the removal of former President Trump’s Twitter account, Apple, along with Google, decided to remove Parler’s app from their digital stores. Amazon then dropped the app from its web hosting service, which took the app offline and rendered it non-functional. Parler claimed that its app was wrongfully terminated and even claimed it had attempted to warn the FBI about potential violence at the Capitol days and even weeks before Jan. 6th. Following the bans, Parler updated its community guidelines and explicitly stated, “Parler will not knowingly allow itself to be used as a tool for crime, civil torts, or other unlawful acts. We will remove reported user content that a reasonable and objective observer would believe constitutes or evidences such activity.” Apple’s Timothy Powderly wrote a letter addressed to Colorado Rep. Ken Buck and Utah Sen. Mike Lee in which he stated, “Apple anticipates that the updated Parler app will become available immediately upon Parler releasing it.”